Scottdale based group hosting informational session on stray cats
By Marilyn Forbes
Published: Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, 7:06 p.m.
The Scottdale-based Friends of Homeless Felines will host an event on Tuesday that organizers hope will help to educate the public on the benefits of the Trap, Neuter and Release program.
“We thought that this would be a good way to get out into the community and answer questions that people may have about our organization and exactly what it is that we do,” said Connie Gentry, president of Friends of Homeless Felines. “There are so many people in our community who really do not understand our program and really don't know that much about us, and we thought that a public education event would be a good way to get out there and talk about TNR.”
The group will be marking its 10th year in the borough. It works year-round to try to control the stray and feral cat population in the town, by trapping the stray or feral cats, having them neutered, then returning them to the capture area.
“We have trapped about 1,000 cats in the past 10 years,” Gentry said. “The group has been busy.”
The event will feature several stations dealing with controlling stray and feral cat populations, how to effectively live with stray cats in your neighborhood and tips on how to keep stray cats off your property.
“I will be at the event to give people information on how they can get low-cost spaying and neutering done,” said Patty Mazza of Mt. Pleasant.
There will be information on what to do if a litter of unwanted kittens is located and how to contact group members if interested in having them set up traps in a yard or neighborhood.
There is no charge to have cats and kittens trapped by the group, which makes arrangements to have them spayed and neutered.
“We basically want people to know what we do and what we have done,” Gentry said.
The event will focus on how quickly a cat population can grow in an area if cats are allowed to roam free without being spayed or neutered.
“We are putting together a display that will show how fast cats can reproduce,” Mazza said. “It's always good to have a visual for something like this. This way, they can see for themselves what can happen and how quickly a cat population can grow.”
There will be areas for children, with crafts and face painting, and an informational display showing and explaining how to handle or not to handle stray and feral cats or kittens.
“People just don't realize that we offer something that is an alternative,” Gentry said.
The event will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Scottdale Fire Hall and is free to attend.
Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.
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